Wednesday, July 27, 2011
This morning my almost five year old boy wrapped me solidly in his arms. I stopped to feel his hearbeat, smell his hair, and stare at the most chewable earlobe on the planet.
Then he blindsided me. "Mommy, I am really going to miss you when I grow up. I know you will miss me too. Is NeverLand real? "
You see, this child has a way of with words and a way with me and these two things together combined result in a one two punch to my tear ducts. I cried. A real full on sad person cry. Right in front of him, God and the probable Fruitables juice stains on the carpet. He wasn't surprised because he was sad too. Little person sad without any substantial empirical knowledge of what growing up feels like but with an absolute spot on notion that it's going to hurt both of us a little no matter what.
This is when I realized I want another baby. The only problem is, it isn't a new baby I want. I want the old one back. The little Grayson baby boy back. The tiny wrapped up meatloaf-in-a-hat baby boy that I wouldn't let anyone come near without me still hovering 10 feet (maximum) away.
When Grayson was born, so was born the Brown Mama Bear in me. I couldn't understand it then but I understand now I was protecting a small creature who was everything good about my family tree: parents, grandparents, brothers, uncles, aunts, cousins, great grandparents and beyond.
Even as a baby, with his moody displays and introverted tendencies, Grayson seemed like the culmination of a long genetic line of poets, artists, and take your time thinkers. Years later, after watching and learning the way he processes life, I see he truly is those things. He is four but has a way of internalizing things beyond his self-centered boyhood. This is not boasting about him or how he was raised because this capacity to feel is as much a curse as it is a blessing. Sometimes people who take in their surroundings so completely are exhausted by socializing and find it hard to live in the moment because their brain won't graduate from absorb mode long enough to relax. Not that I would know anything about that.
He gets that his actions matter.
He cares for creatures and people alike. He will size up a situation with clarity and fairness if I don't force him to put on his shoes too quickly or otherwise trip up his thinking time with extrinsic busy work.
This little boy embodies the spirit of a man who is emerging every day no matter how much I want my baby back.